If you look up Conklin, Mich., on Google Maps, you’ll see a post office, Fenian’s Irish Pub and not a whole lot else. Tucked between some utilitarian-looking shops and a dusty grain elevator, Fenian’s isn’t really where you’d peg a celebrated West Michigan synth-pop group to have come to life.
Call it garage rock, noise rock, psychedelic punk or even just experimental. Whatever the label, the young trio out of Richland that makes up Inflatable Best Friend is preparing to unleash their sophomore record and set out on tour in support.
Being a big fish in a small pond can have its upsides. Eclectic rock 'n' rollers The Fever Haze hail from Zeeland, which, as you may have guessed, doesn't boast much of a (read: any) music scene. Even the scene in nearby Holland has witnessed better days.
The husband-and-wife duo known as Jucifer lives and breathes music. If anyone needs proof of this notion they need only to look at the band's tour schedule, which has been nonstop since they took on a nomadic lifestyle in 2001. Since then, they have made quite literally made their tour RV their permanent residence with no regrets.
The Joe Marcinek Band is an ever-evolving musical entity. Front man Joe Marcinek loves to bring in his uber talented friends to get in on the action, much to the delight of an eager audience starved for an off-the-cuff jam session. On March 6, the Crown Point, Ind.-based funky jazz group will return to Kalamazoo.
Technically, Luke Nowland is a one-man band, but don't expect him to take the stage with a bass drum strapped to his back, kazoo in his mouth and cymbals between his legs. He's no that kind of one-man band. Nowland is currently the sole musician behind Grand Rapids-based indie rock outfit Good Day Good Sir. Luckily, he knows plenty of wildly taltented dudes to back him up when he takes the stage.
Klay Fennema doesn’t mind letting people in on his dirty little secret. “I am not even ashamed to admit that we all have shopped in the ladies department for clothing before,” he said with a laugh. That’s just one of the prices that Fennema and his band have paid to resurrect the hair metal of yesteryear.
Ryley Grayson doesn’t like to get caught up in discussion about labels or musical genres. Him and his band, West & Run, just want to play the music they like and let the cards fall where they may. Alive and kicking in one form or another for the last three years, West & Run has toiled away in the West Michigan music scene, slinging a high-energy, peppy brand of rock that many might call pop rock.
A lot of bands charge out of the gates, ready to take on the world. A frantic pace and sky-high expectations might be kosher for some, but it doesn't really fit the M.O. of Grand Rapids-based synth rock band Archery. This band is slow and plodding, meticulously mapping out their musical route.
The hardcore/screamo scene in West Michigan has taken its share of hits over the years. With all ages-centric venues like Skelletones, MXTP and The DAAC going under, there are few places left for these bands to throw down in. We've even seen a drop in the DIY-style shows that take over local VFW halls. But, don't worry...the scene is still alive and kicking, and Grand Rapids-based Divided They Fall is doing its part to keep it that way.
© 2017 Revue and Revue Holding Company